22 Juli 2016
PF-17 BRP Andreas Bonifacio (photo : USCG)
Navy's 2nd BRP Andres Bonifacio to arrive home by November
MANILA (PNA) -- The Philippine Navy (PN)'s second frigate, bearing the revered name KKK founder Andres Bonifacio, will be arriving home by November.
This was confirmed by PN acting public affairs chief Cmdr. Marineth Domingo in an interview Thursday.
The new BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17) is the former USCGC Boutwell, which was retired last March 16 and scheduled to be handed over to the PN on Thursday (American time) during turnover ceremonies at Coast Guard Base Alameda, California.
Domingo said BRP Andres Bonifacio prospective commanding officer Capt. Capt. Brendo J. Casaclang and his crew will train on how to operate the ship's systems before starting their voyage home by October.
She added that the ship will be used in maritime security and sovereignty patrols.
BRP Andres Bonifacio will be the third Hamilton class cutter in PN service after the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (FF-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF-16) which were acquired in 2011 and 2013, respectively.
The former was acquired through the US Excess Defense Articles program. The second BRP Andres Bonifacio is armed with a 76mm Oto Melara autocannon like her sisters and has cruising speed of around 29 knots.
The first BRP Andres Bonifacio (PF-7) was commissioned by the PN on July 27, 1976 and decommissioned on Sept. 30, 1993.
The first BRP Andres Bonifacio was the lead ship of the Andres Bonifacio class frigates of the PN which consists of the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-8), BRP Diego Silang (PF-9) and BRP Francisco Dagohoy (PF-10).
These ships, during that time were the largest and most heavily-armed frigates of the PN.
The above-mentioned vessels weighs 2,800 tons with a full war load, has a length of 311 feet, has a cruising speed of 18.2 knots and is armed with one five-inch automatic cannon.
The latter weapon is the largest weapon ever mounted in a PN ship even with the arrival of the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar class frigates.
These ships were formerly used by the US Navy as Barnegat-class small seaplane tenders.
These vessels were former naval vessels of the South Vietnamese Navy.
And when the South Vietnam collapsed in 1975, these four vessels fled to Subic Bay, Philippines where they reverted to the control of their former operator, the United States, who then sold them to the PN at friendship prices.
These four ships formed the backbone of the Philippine Fleet and served loyally for 17 years until lack of spares and obsolescent prompted their decommissioning in 1993.